Explosions, Rainbows and the Rest is a book that has the appearance of a mobile phone user’s manual. In this book, I made Nokia 6600 the protagonist. A mobile phone
is politicalized from the moment it was manufactured. First, it wasassembled by underpaid and non-insured workers in a company that is involved in tax evasion.And then after it was sold,
it functioned in various ways politically. It is a tool of connection, it breaks the border and connects people. Its camera democratizes the gesture of picture makin and changes the way social documentary works. It can also be used to trigger improvised explosive devices and creates chaos and in a way starts revolutions in some people’s minds. To narrate its story, I use images found on photograph sharing websites, inter-winded with screenshots of a Hollywood action film, news photos and advertising images. Images on each page respond to the context accordingly. The way pictures are sequenced are non-linear, similar to the user’s manual, they are both full of montages and repetitions.

The reason why I was attracted by these photographs taken by ordinary people on their phone in early 2000 is that they are all trying to grasp fleeting moments, for example, rainbows,
fireworks, blurry human faces and the crowd after the bombing. These images are at the bottom of the visual hierarchy- they are hazy, pixelated and nearly unrecognizable. But in my opinion, they are much more powerful and more progressive than those crispy sharp and well-made pictures.

I am also intrigued by a kind of neutral tone that user’s manuals have, they present a beautiful vision to people, a vision of connectivity and community in a seemingly reliable way. By juxtaposing these visions with awkward and silly everyday pictures. I try to explore the conversation between these two sides. And it triggers me thinking about the idea of past optimism and how ordinary people deal with the altering political landscape.

144 pages
Soft cover
Perfect Bound
4.5 x 7 in

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